Phase 3b – Participative bonfire


This project is a participative bonfire. Each person who is interested in participate is going to build a little part of the bonfire. Bringing all these parts together we are going to materialize the opinion of the people about the different issues of the current situation of the neighborhood. Each of the pieces that are going to conform the final image contain a message; the personal opinion of each participant about the current situation of the neighborhood.

Since the beginning of the Fogueres de Sant Joan tradition in 1928, the bonfire monument had the same objective that these monuments have nowadays: a scathing and eloquent criticism.

Each district plans its bonfire around the problems and deficiencies that affect it; transport, electricity, sewerage as the more frequent criticisms in the years 20-30.

The treatment given to the subject is the irony, aware of the transience and insignificance of the bonfire, cannot focus on more than joke or criticism, being impossible to propose a solution to the problem.

1parada y fonda“Parada y fonda” is the tittle of the first bonfire of Benalúa, winner in 1928. Referred to the prolonged and forced tram stops at the crossing level crossing Benalúa.


To start a participative bonfire we need, first of all, to involve the neighbors. We need to know the context in which we are working (as we made in PHASE 2) and establish the topics that we will use to represent in the bonfire. To collect data, a questionnaire is required to grab the attention of the potential participants. In this questionnaire we are going to ask about the vision of the people about 4 different subjects that right know concern them.

This questionnaire will serve us as a tool to translate the opinions of the people into materiality. So, like this, each piece contains a message, the personal opinion of each participant about the current situation of the neighborhood.


The four statements are related to the four main concerns in the neighborhood right now:

-The lack of neighborhood associations that can translate the message of the neighborhood problems to the City council.

-The lack of public space, due to the bad management of the site.

-The existing 3 bonfires in a very small area. All of them have economic issues due to the low participation of the neighbors.

-The lack of any activity, cultural or economical, that makes the neighborhood seem an island where nobody goes.

In this questionnaire they are going to answer depending on their level of agreement with each of the four statements. The answer is going to be represented by a color and a height.


-To know how to apply participative methods I investigated in some documents about Participative Methodologies, taking as a reference PARTICIPATORY METHODS TOOLKIT- A practitioner’s manual, by Dr. Nikki Slocum. In this manual I found out what kind of participative method should I apply depending on my objectives. In this case, the most suitable case is the Scenarios Workshop.

La Ciutat Encallada. Falla Catielfabib 2014 by  María Oliver y Javier Molinero (miXuro Architects) This year the proposal for this Falla is to be built by the people and neighbors. They need to answer a questionnaire, and depending on their answers each one is going to receive a “kit” to be built by each participant and in the 15th March all the kits are going to be together to give the final shape to the Falla. The 80% of the final result is going to be the combination of each kit. The process will be guided by the two architects in collaboration with the Falla committee.


-I’m going to use as a reference 3 children’s toys: LEGO, Meccano & Geomag. The three systems are based in the same principles: they have basic pieces, which can be assembled in different ways following the instructions to get different results from the same basic pieces.



The project is going to be built with cardboard boxes, because is a cheap material and when it burns is cleaner than the current materials used to build the traditional bonfires. Furthermore is easy to work with because is very light. Each set of pieces is going to be composed of 4 cardboard boxes. The size of the boxes is going to be 40×40 cm and the heights, depending on the answer are going to vary in four different heights (25, 30, 35 and 40 cm). The highest box is going to represent disagreement and the lower agreement.

The problem of the cardboard is that is not water resistant and it’s very light to be in the street. That’s why we need to put load in the base of the bonfire and paste all the boxes between them. It’s not possible avoid the rain or the wind, but since it’s a bonfire it has to able to resist.

3 modules cajas


CartonLAB. 30 stands for the Retrotruec Party. They work always with cardboard, but in this project in particular they use a number of boxes to combine them in different ways to build different stand for an exposition, furthermore they use the color in some of the sides of the boxes.


BLOXES are building blocks made of interlocking pieces of corrugated cardboard, folded together. Their shape and structure make them strong and lightweight. Bloxes can connect with each other on all six sides, so you can use them to build walls, benches, tables, tunnels—whatever you can think of.


Living Nature Pavilion by Hector Ruiz Velazquez. In this pavilion, displayed at Habitat Valencia in 2010 Velazquez explores how space and light interact through the arrangement of recycled cardboard boxes. This massive cardboard structure is large enough for visitors to walk through, and it allows viewers to fully experience the beauty of his “outside-the-box” approach.



To choose the final color represented in the bonfire, we took as a sample some of the bonfire poster over the years. Here is a color selection and some tests with the 4 main colors in four shades to see which one can work better and transmit what we want.




Finally the color that we are going to use is the orange shades. This color represents enthusiasm, happiness, attractiveness, creativity, determination, success, encouragement and stimulation.

The orange vision produces the sensation of more oxygen to the brain, producing an invigorating and stimulating mental activity effect.

The Orange has very high visibility, so it is very useful to attract attention.

We use the four shades, the darkest in the bottom and the lighter at the top. Due to the colors are becoming lighter when it grows up the whole bonfire aspires to produce feeling of liberation. The dark colors make you feels that the space is smaller and the light colors make the space bigger.

We are going to color the boxes before deliver the pieces to the participants. It’s a way to homogenize the finishing of the bonfire.


How to get a single module. Each module will contain the opinion of a participant. We obtain this opinion though their answers to the questionnaire previously shown. Each answer to the 4 different statements will show the agreement (4) or disagreement (1) of the person and reflect it physically in the cardboard boxes with different sizes.

Each statement (A, B, C or D) will be represented with a different tone of orange, being the order the darkest at the bottom and the lighter at the top.

Each answer (1, 2, 3 or 4) will be represented with a different size of cardboard box. Higher reflects disagreement and lower agreement.


How to put different simple modules together.

modulos juntos

How to read the all the modules together to obtain an answer about the combination of heights and colors.



The philosophy behind this project is to claim an empty unused space in the neighborhood with a criticism of its current situation. This bonfire is going to work as a messenger to translate the concerns of the community to the City Council and the other visitors.

To start occupying the plot we are going to use the simple square geometry generated by the cardboard boxes. And decompose it like a labyrinth configuration with three different entries representing each neighborhood (Princesa Mercedes, Francisco Albert and Alipark)


Using this kind of space, it’s a way of trying to change the actual behavior towards the bonfires on just contemplate them as a monument, but be able to go inside to experience its message through sensations.

The labyrinth has a lot of different meaning from the mythology or religion to logic and strategy games. But what is inevitable when talking about labyrinths is that is a space that provides an invitation to go inside it. To enter in different world or dimension, because each single person takes it in different ways… as a challenge, and adventure, or even fear…


In this case, the walls of the labyrinth are going to be built with the single modules assembled by the participants. Each person is going to attach its module to the bonfire. Through all the deferent paths the height of the walls is going to change, allowing us in some cases to see beyond the walls, or blocking our vision making us to think about how to reach the center, the objective when you go inside a labyrinth.


But, what is the sense of reaching the center if we don’t find anything? That’s why the center of the labyrinth is going to become the site where people can find out what is the labyrinth talking about the explanation and conclusion of the journey through it.



Falla Castielfabib-Miguel Arráinz


-Anna Ruiz /Alfredo Ruiz / Giovanni Nardin

Anna Riuz

Michelangelo Pistoletto  ‘the mirror of judgement’. italian artist sets a number of his sculptural works
amidst the winding passageways of a labyrinth, composed of corrugated cardboard. he describes the exhibition
as ‘a winding and unforeseeable road that leads us to the place of revelation, of knowledge

Working Documents and Information

After the last review, I’m rethinking the design.


Book: Las hogueras de San Juan (1928-1987)


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